4 Tips for eLearning QA Testing

After you’ve spent weeks (or even months) designing and developing an eLearning course, it’s easy for errors and glitches to sneak past you. And let’s be honest, it’s never fun when your learners are the ones who discover something doesn’t work in your eLearning course! The best way to prevent this is to have a thorough eLearning QA testing process.

Quality assurance, or “QA” testing, is the process of reviewing your eLearning course to identify any outstanding errors, typos, or other glitches that must be fixed before the course is published. Although I am a big advocate of eLearning QA testing early and often, you should always QA your course once you are done with development and before you deliver it to your learners.

Follow these four eLearning QA testing tips to make sure your learners aren’t the ones who discover what’s not working your next course!

Take a Break from Looking at Your Course

eLearning QA Testing

As I mentioned in the introduction, after you’ve been working to develop an eLearning course for several weeks, it’s easy to miss simple glitches. The truth is, the more often you work on your course, the less likely you are to spot errors.

During your eLearning QA testing process, take a break from looking at your course and give yourself as much time between development and QA. If you finish development of your course on a Friday, wait until Monday for QA testing. Giving yourself this extra time away from your course helps reset your brain.

Step Away from Your Normal Environment

eLearning QA Testing

In addition to taking a break from your course, you should also consider taking a break from your normal working environment. Your work environment can have a huge (and unexpected) effect of your QA abilities! When you work in the same environment day in and day out, it can stagnate your attention.

During your eLearning QA testing process, step away from your normal working environment. Go to a coffee shop, a park, a library, or anywhere other than where you spent the majority of your time developing the eLearning course. A change of environment can reinvigorate your attention and help you spot those pesky errors.

Get a Second Set of Eyes

eLearning QA Testing

Even after giving yourself a break and changing your environment, it’s easy to miss even the most obvious errors. Sometimes the best people to help your review your eLearning course, are those who have never seen it in the first place!

During your eLearning QA testing process, get a second (and possibly third) set of eyes to look at your course. Pick someone who hasn’t been involved with the development of your eLearning course and let them review it. This is also an excellent opportunity to watch someone else use your course to identify any usability issues.

Do the Unexpected

eLearning QA Testing

Most errors in an eLearning course are discovered when learners try to do what they aren’t supposed to do. It’s easy to miss these technical errors when developing an eLearning course because you’re more likely to test it within the confines of how you developed it to work!

During your eLearning QA testing process, put yourself in the shoes of your learners and do the unexpected–try to “break” your course. For example, if you’re QAing a slide where you are supposed to select a single item, see what happens if you select multiple items. This can help you identify “holes” in your development that you didn’t take into account.

Maintaining a thorough and detailed eLearning QA testing process can help you save time and develop courses with fewer errors. What other tips do you have for eLearning QA testing? Share them by commenting below!

Additional Resources

Tim Slade
Tim Slade is a speaker, author, and award-winning freelance eLearning designer. Having spent the last decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content, Tim has been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for his creative and innovative design aesthetics. Tim is a regular speaker at international eLearning conferences, is a recognized Articulate Super Hero, author of The eLearning Designer’s Handbook and creator of The eLearning Designer's Academy.

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